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Bread is a
staple food 215px, Unprocessed seeds of spelt, a historically important staple food A staple food, food staple, or simply a staple, is a food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of pla ...

staple food
prepared from a
dough Image:Dough.jpg, Freshly mixed dough in the bowl of a Mixer (cooking), stand mixer Dough is a thick, malleable, sometimes elastic Paste (food), paste made out of any grains, legume, leguminous or chestnut crops. Dough is typically made by mixing ...
of
flour Kinako Flour is a powder A powder is a dry, bulk solid Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid, gas and plasma). The molecules in a solid are closely packed together and contain the least ...

flour
and
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living organisms (in which it acts ...

water
, usually by
baking Baking is a method of preparing food that uses dry heat, typically in an oven, but can also be done in hot ashes, or on hot stones. The most common baked item is bread but many other types of foods are baked. Heat is gradually transferred "from ...

baking
. Throughout
recorded history Recorded history or written history is a History, historical narrative based on a written record or other documented communication. It contrasts with other narratives of the past, such as mythological, Oral history, oral or Archaeological recor ...
, it has been a prominent food in large parts of the world. It is one of the oldest man-made foods, having been of significant importance since the dawn of
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domestication, domesticated species created food ...

agriculture
, and plays an essential role in both religious rituals and secular culture. Bread may be
leavened Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water, usually by baking. Throughout recorded history, it has been a prominent food in large parts of the world. It is one of the oldest man-made foods, having been of significant import ...
by naturally occurring microbes, chemicals, industrially produced
yeast Yeasts are eukaryotic, single-celled microorganisms classified as members of the fungus kingdom (biology), kingdom. The first yeast originated hundreds of millions of years ago, and at least 1,500 species are currently recognized. They are esti ...
, or high-pressure aeration. In many countries, commercial bread often contains additives to improve flavor, texture, color, shelf life, nutrition, and ease of production.


Etymology

The
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventu ...
word for bread was ''hlaf'' (''hlaifs'' in
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken by ...
: modern English ''
loaf A loaf is a, usually rounded or oblong, mass of food, typically and originally of bread Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, ...
''), which appears to be the oldest
Teutonic
Teutonic
name.
Old High German Old High German (OHG, german: Althochdeutsch, German abbr. ) is the earliest stage of the German language The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or c ...
''hleib'' and modern
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
''Laib'' derive from this
Proto-Germanic Proto-Germanic (abbreviated PGmc; also called Common Germanic) is the reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new ...
word, which was borrowed into some Slavic (
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic (; cs, Česká republika ), also known by its short-form name, Czechia (; cz, Česko ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Au ...
''chléb'',
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
''bochen chleba'',
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
''khleb'') and Finnic (
Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish people * Finnish cuisine See also

...
''leipä'',
Estonian Estonian may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Estonia, a country in the Baltic region in northern Europe *Estonians, people from Estonia, or of Estonian descent *Estonian language *Estonian cuisine *Estonian culture See also

* * La ...
''leib'') languages as well. The Middle and
Modern English Modern English (sometimes New English or NE (ME) as opposed to Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th centur ...

Modern English
word bread appears in
Germanic language The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most ...
s, such as West Frisian ''brea'',
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
''brood'',
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
''Brot'',
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
''bröd'', and
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the t ...
and
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
''brød''; it may be related to '' brew'' or perhaps to ''break'', originally meaning "broken piece", "morsel".


History

Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods. Evidence from 30,000 years ago in Europe and Australia revealed starch residue on rocks used for pounding plants. It is possible that during this time, starch extract from the roots of plants, such as cattails and
ferns A fern (Polypodiopsida or Polypodiophyta ) is a member of a group of vascular plants (plants with xylem Xylem is one of the two types of transport tissue in vascular plants, the other being phloem. The basic function of xylem is to tra ...

ferns
, was spread on a flat rock, placed over a fire and cooked into a primitive form of flatbread. The world's oldest evidence of bread-making has been found in a 14,500-year-old
Natufian The Natufian culture () is a Late Epipaleolithic (Levant), Epipaleolithic archaeological culture of the Levant, dating to around 15,000 to 11,500 years ago. The culture was unusual in that it supported a Sedentism, sedentary or semi-sedentary popu ...
site in Jordan's northeastern desert. Around 10,000 BC, with the dawn of the
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. It is first seen about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of ...
age and the spread of agriculture, grains became the mainstay of making bread. Yeast spores are ubiquitous, including on the surface of cereal grains, so any dough left to rest leavens naturally. There were multiple sources of leavening available for early bread. Airborne yeasts could be harnessed by leaving uncooked dough exposed to air for some time before cooking.
Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, and plants, in their natu ...

Pliny the Elder
reported that the
Gauls The Gauls ( la, Galli; grc, Γαλάται, ''Galátai'') were a group of Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS ...
and
Iberians statuette, 2nd to 4th centuries BC, found in Edeta. The Iberians ( la, Hibērī, from el, Ἴβηρες, ''Iberes'') were a set of people that Ancient Greece, Greek and Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Ital ...
used the foam skimmed from
beer Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually ...

beer
, called
barm Barm is the foam or scum formed on the top of a fermenting liquid, such as beer Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink that contains ethanol Ethanol (also called ethyl alco ...
, to produce "a lighter kind of bread than other peoples" such as barm cake. Parts of the ancient world that drank wine instead of beer used a paste composed of
grape A grape is a fruit In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants (also known as angiosperms) formed from the ovary after flowering. Fruits are the means by which angiosperms disseminate seeds. Edible fruits, in ...

grape
juice and flour that was allowed to begin fermenting, or wheat bran steeped in
wine Wine is an alcoholic drink typically made from Fermentation in winemaking, fermented grapes. Yeast in winemaking, Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol and carbon dioxide, releasing heat in the process. Different v ...

wine
, as a source for
yeast Yeasts are eukaryotic, single-celled microorganisms classified as members of the fungus kingdom (biology), kingdom. The first yeast originated hundreds of millions of years ago, and at least 1,500 species are currently recognized. They are esti ...

yeast
. The most common source of leavening was to retain a piece of dough from the previous day to use as a form of sourdough starter, as Pliny also reported. The Chorleywood bread process was developed in 1961; it uses the intense mechanical working of dough to dramatically reduce the
fermentation Fermentation is a metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic substrates through the action of enzyme Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts (biocatalysts). Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The mo ...
period and the time taken to produce a loaf. The process, whose high-energy mixing allows for the use of grain with a lower protein content, is now widely used around the world in large factories. As a result, bread can be produced very quickly and at low costs to the manufacturer and the consumer. However, there has been some criticism of the effect on nutritional value.


Types

Bread is the
staple food 215px, Unprocessed seeds of spelt, a historically important staple food A staple food, food staple, or simply a staple, is a food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of pla ...

staple food
of the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), such as Codex Alimentarius in food, the World Health Organi ...

Middle East
,
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sovi ...

Central Asia
,
North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in the west, to Egypt's ...

North Africa
,
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest ...

Europe
, and in European-derived cultures such as those in the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to East and West. ''North'' ...

Americas
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, smal ...

Australia
, and
Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Pro ...
. This is in contrast to parts of South and East Asia, where
rice Rice is the seed of the Poaceae, grass species ''Oryza sativa'' (Asian rice) or less commonly ''Oryza glaberrima'' (African rice). The name wild rice is usually used for species of the genera ''Zizania (genus), Zizania'' and ''Porteresia'', bot ...

rice
or
noodle Noodles are a type of food made from unleavened dough which is rolled flat and cut, stretched or extruded, into long strips or strings. Noodles can be refrigerated for short-term storage or dried and stored for future use. Noodles are usua ...

noodle
is the staple. Bread is usually made from a
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'') ...

wheat
-
flour Kinako Flour is a powder A powder is a dry, bulk solid Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid, gas and plasma). The molecules in a solid are closely packed together and contain the least ...

flour
dough Image:Dough.jpg, Freshly mixed dough in the bowl of a Mixer (cooking), stand mixer Dough is a thick, malleable, sometimes elastic Paste (food), paste made out of any grains, legume, leguminous or chestnut crops. Dough is typically made by mixing ...
that is cultured with yeast, allowed to rise, and finally baked in an
oven upA double oven A ceramic oven An oven is a tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone ...

oven
. The addition of yeast to the bread explains the air pockets commonly found in bread. Owing to its high levels of
gluten Gluten is a group of seed storage protein Proteins are large biomolecules or macromolecules that are comprised of one or more long chains of amino acid residue (biochemistry), residues. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organis ...

gluten
(which give the dough sponginess and elasticity), common or bread wheat is the most common grain used for the preparation of bread, which makes the largest single contribution to the world's food supply of any food. Bread is also made from the flour of other wheat species (including
spelt Spelt (''Triticum spelta''), also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat, is a species of wheat that has been cultivated since approximately 5000 BC. Spelt was an important staple food 215px, Unprocessed seeds of spelt, a historically important ...

spelt
,
emmer Emmer wheat or hulled wheat is a type of awned wheat Wheat is a grass widely Agriculture, cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The Taxonomy of wheat, many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Tri ...

emmer
,
einkorn Einkorn wheat (from German ''Einkorn'', literally "single grain") can refer either to the wild species of wheat Wheat is a grass widely Agriculture, cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The Taxonomy of whe ...

einkorn
and ). Non-wheat cereals including
rye Rye (''Secale cereale'') is a grass grown extensively as a grain, a cover crop and a forage Forage is a plant material (mainly plant leaves and stems) eaten by grazing livestock. Historically, the term ''forage'' has meant only plants eate ...

rye
,
barley Barley (''Hordeum vulgare''), a member of the grass family Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recogn ...

barley
,
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn ( North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as F ...

maize
(corn),
oat The oat (''Avena sativa''), sometimes called the common oat, is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A specie ...
s,
sorghum ''Sorghum'' is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the grass family ( Poaceae). Some of these species are grown as cereals for human consumption and some in pastures for animals. One species, '' Sorghum bicolor'', was originally ...

sorghum
,
millet Millets () are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Millets are important crops in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially in Indi ...

millet
and
rice Rice is the seed of the Poaceae, grass species ''Oryza sativa'' (Asian rice) or less commonly ''Oryza glaberrima'' (African rice). The name wild rice is usually used for species of the genera ''Zizania (genus), Zizania'' and ''Porteresia'', bot ...

rice
have been used to make bread, but, with the exception of rye, usually in combination with wheat flour as they have less gluten. Gluten-free breads are made using ground flours from a variety of ingredients such as almonds, rice, sorghum, corn, or legumes such as beans, and tubers such as cassava, but since these flours lack gluten they may not hold their shape as they rise and their crumb may be dense with little aeration. Additives such as xanthan gum, guar gum, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), corn starch, or eggs are used to compensate for the lack of gluten.


Properties


Physical-chemical composition

In
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'') ...

wheat
, phenolic compounds are mainly found in hulls in the form of insoluble bound
ferulic acid Ferulic acid is a hydroxycinnamic acid, an organic compound. It is an abundant phenolic phytochemical found in plant cell walls, covalently bonded as side chains to molecules such as arabinoxylans. As a component of lignin, ferulic acid is a pre ...
, where it is relevant to wheat resistance to fungal diseases.
Rye bread Rye bread is a type of bread made with various proportions of flour from rye grain. It can be light or dark in color, depending on the type of flour used and the addition of coloring agents, and is typically denser than bread made from wheat ...

Rye bread
contains
phenolic acid Phenolic acids or phenolcarboxylic acids are types of aromatic acid compound. Included in that class are substances containing a phenol Phenol (also called carbolic acid) is an aromatic organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic co ...
s and ferulic acid dehydrodimers. Three
natural phenol In biochemistry, naturally occurring phenols refers to phenol functional group that is found in natural products. Phenolic compounds are produced by plants and microorganisms. Organisms sometimes synthesize phenolic compounds in response to ecolog ...
ic glucosides, secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, and ferulic acid glucoside, can be found in commercial breads containing
flaxseed Flax, also known as common flax or linseed, is a flowering plant The flowering plants, also known as Angiospermae (), or Magnoliophyta (), are the most diverse group of Embryophyte, land plants, with 64 Order(biology), orders, 416 Family (biol ...
.
Glutenin Glutenin (a type of glutelin) is a major protein Proteins are large biomolecules or macromolecules that are comprised of one or more long chains of amino acid residue (biochemistry), residues. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within ...
and
gliadin Gliadin (a type of prolamin Prolamins are a group of plant storage proteins having a high proline amino acid content. They are found in plants, mainly in the seeds of cereal grains such as wheat (gliadin), barley (hordein), rye (secalin), maize, ...

gliadin
are functional proteins found in wheat bread that contribute to the structure of bread. Glutenin forms interconnected gluten networks within bread through interchain disulfide bonds. Gliadin binds weakly to the gluten network established by glutenin via intrachain disulfide bonds. Structurally, bread can be defined as an elastic-plastic
foam foam bubbles Foam is an object formed by trapping pockets of gas in a liquid or solid. A Sponge (tool), bath sponge and the Beer head, head on a glass of beer are examples of foams. In most foams, the volume of gas is large, with thin films of ...

foam
(same as
styrofoam Styrofoam is a trademark A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-markThe styling of ''trademark'' as a single word is predominantly used in the United States and Philippines only, while the two-word styling ''trade mark'' is used in ...
). The glutenin protein contributes to its elastic nature, as it is able to regain its initial shape after deformation. The gliadin protein contributes to its
plastic Plastics are a wide range of syntheticA synthetic is an artificial material produced by organic chemistry, organic chemical synthesis. Synthetic may also refer to: In the sense of both "combination" and "artificial" * Synthetic chemical or sy ...
nature, because it demonstrates non-reversible structural change after a certain amount of applied force. Because air pockets within this gluten network result from carbon dioxide production during leavening, bread can be defined as a foam, or a gas-in-solid solution.
Acrylamide Acrylamide (or acrylic amide In organic chemistry Organic chemistry is a branch of chemistry that studies the structure, properties and reactions of organic compounds, which contain carbon in covalent bonding.Clayden, J.; Greeves, N. and W ...
, like in other starchy foods that have been heated higher than 120 °C (248 °F), has been found in recent years to occur in bread. Acrylamide is
neurotoxic Neurotoxicity is a form of toxicity in which a biological, chemical, or physical agent produces an adverse effect on the structure or function of the central nervous system, central and/or peripheral nervous system. It occurs when exposure to a su ...
, has adverse effects on male reproduction and developmental toxicity and is
carcinogen A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide A radionuclide (radioactive nuclide, radioisotope or radioactive isotope) is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any ...
ic. A study has found that more than 99 percent of the acrylamide in bread is found in the crust.


Culinary uses

Bread can be served at many
temperature Temperature is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy, present in all matter, which is the source of the occurrence of heat, a flow of energy, when a body is in contact with another that is ...

temperature
s; once baked, it can subsequently be
toast Toast most commonly refers to: * Toast (food) Toast is bread that has been browning (food process), browned by exposure to radiant heat. The browning is the result of a Maillard reaction, altering the flavor of the bread and making it firmer so t ...
ed. It is most commonly eaten with the hands, either by itself or as a carrier for other foods. Bread can be spread with
butter Butter is a dairy product Dairy products or milk products are a type of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός ...

butter
, dipped into liquids such as
gravy Gravy is a sauce, often made from the juices of meats that run naturally during cooking and often thickened with wheat flour or corn starch for added texture. The gravy may be further coloured and flavored with gravy salt (a simple mix of salt and ...

gravy
,
olive oil Olive oil is a vegetable oil, liquid fat obtained from olives (the fruit of ''Olea europaea''; family Oleaceae), a traditional Tree fruit, tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin, produced by pressing whole olives and extracting the oil. It is com ...

olive oil
, or
soup Soup is a primarily liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers to a fluid flow, flow in which the material dens ...

soup
; it can be topped with various sweet and savory spreads, or used to make
sandwich A sandwich is a food typically consisting of vegetables, sliced cheese or meat, placed on or between slices of bread, or more generally any dish wherein bread serves as a container or wrapper for another food type. The sandwich began as a por ...

sandwich
es containing
meat Meat is animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular respiratio ...

meat
s, cheeses, vegetables, and
condiments Image:Salt, sugar and pepper shakers.jpg, Salt, black pepper, pepper, and sugar are commonly placed on Western restaurant tables. A condiment is a spice, sauce, or preparation that is added to food, after cooking, to impart a specific flavor, to e ...

condiments
. Bread is used as an ingredient in other culinary preparations, such as the use of
breadcrumb Bread crumbs or breadcrumbs (regional variants: breading, crispies) consist of crumbled bread Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucen ...

breadcrumb
s to provide crunchy crusts or thicken sauces; toasted cubes of bread, called croutons, are used as a salad topping; seasoned bread is used as stuffing inside roasted turkey; sweet or savoury bread puddings are made with bread and various liquids; egg and milk-soaked bread is fried as French toast; and bread is used as a binding agent in sausages, meatballs and other ground meat products.


Nutritional significance

Nutritionally, bread is categorized as a source of grains in the Food pyramid (nutrition), food pyramid. Further, it is a good source of carbohydrates and nutrients such as magnesium, iron, selenium, B vitamins, and dietary fiber.


Crust

Image:Roggenvollkornbrot.Endstueck.Kruste.mit.Ausbund.jpg, Crust of a cut bread made of whole-grain
rye Rye (''Secale cereale'') is a grass grown extensively as a grain, a cover crop and a forage Forage is a plant material (mainly plant leaves and stems) eaten by grazing livestock. Historically, the term ''forage'' has meant only plants eate ...

rye
with crust crack (half right at the top) Bread crust is formed from surface dough during the cooking process. It is hardened and browned through the Maillard reaction using the sugars and amino acids due to the intense heat at the bread surface. The crust of most breads is harder, and more complexly and intensely flavored, than the rest. Old wives' tales suggest that eating the bread crust makes a person's hair curlier. Additionally, the crust is rumored to be healthier than the remainder of the bread. Some studies have shown that this is true as the crust has more dietary fiber and antioxidants such as pronyl-lysine, which is being researched for its potential colorectal cancer inhibitory properties.


Preparation

Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed bread, steamed (e.g., mantou), fried (e.g., puri (food), puri), or baked on an unoiled frying pan (e.g., tortillas). It may be leavening agent, leavened or unleavened (e.g. matzo). Edible salt, Salt, fat and leavening agents such as yeast (baking), yeast and baking soda are common ingredients, though bread may contain other ingredients, such as milk, egg (food), egg, sugar, spice, fruit (such as raisins), vegetables (such as onion), nut (fruit), nuts (such as walnut) or seeds (such as poppy seed, poppy). Methods of processing dough into bread include the Straight dough, straight dough process, the Sourdough, sourdough process, the Chorleywood bread process and the Sponge and dough, sponge and dough process.


Formulation

Professional bread recipes are stated using the baker percentage, baker's percentage notation. The amount of flour is denoted to be 100%, and the other ingredients are expressed as a percentage of that amount by weight. Measurement by weight is more accurate and consistent than measurement by volume, particularly for dry ingredients. The proportion of water to flour is the most important measurement in a bread recipe, as it affects texture and crumb the most. Hard wheat flours Farinograph#Method, absorb about 62%
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living organisms (in which it acts ...

water
, while softer wheat flours absorb about 56%. Common table breads made from these doughs result in a finely textured, light bread. Most artisan bread formulas contain anywhere from 60 to 75% water. In yeast breads, the higher water percentages result in more CO2 bubbles and a coarser bread crumb. 500 grams (1 pound) of flour yields a standard loaf of bread or two baguettes. Calcium propionate is commonly added by commercial bakeries to retard the growth of molds.


Flour

Flour is grain ground to a powdery consistency. Flour provides the primary structure, starch and protein to the final baked bread. The protein content of the flour is the best indicator of the quality of the bread
dough Image:Dough.jpg, Freshly mixed dough in the bowl of a Mixer (cooking), stand mixer Dough is a thick, malleable, sometimes elastic Paste (food), paste made out of any grains, legume, leguminous or chestnut crops. Dough is typically made by mixing ...
and the finished bread. While bread can be made from all-purpose wheat flour, a specialty bread flour, containing more protein (12–14%), is recommended for high-quality bread. If one uses a flour with a lower protein content (9–11%) to produce bread, a shorter mixing time is required to develop gluten strength properly. An extended mixing time leads to oxidization of the dough, which gives the finished product a whiter crumb, instead of the cream color preferred by most artisan bakers. Wheat flour, in addition to its starch, contains three water-soluble protein groups (albumin, globulin, and proteoses) and two water-insoluble protein groups (glutenin and
gliadin Gliadin (a type of prolamin Prolamins are a group of plant storage proteins having a high proline amino acid content. They are found in plants, mainly in the seeds of cereal grains such as wheat (gliadin), barley (hordein), rye (secalin), maize, ...

gliadin
). When flour is mixed with water, the water-soluble proteins dissolve, leaving the glutenin and gliadin to form the structure of the resulting bread. When relatively dry dough is worked by kneading, or wet dough is allowed to rise for a long time (see no-knead bread), the glutenin forms strands of long, thin, chainlike molecules, while the shorter gliadin forms bridges between the strands of glutenin. The resulting networks of strands produced by these two proteins are known as
gluten Gluten is a group of seed storage protein Proteins are large biomolecules or macromolecules that are comprised of one or more long chains of amino acid residue (biochemistry), residues. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organis ...

gluten
. Gluten development improves if the dough is allowed to autolyse.


Liquids

Water, or some other liquid, is used to form the flour into a paste or dough. The weight or ratio of liquid required varies between recipes, but a ratio of three parts liquid to five parts flour is common for yeast breads. Recipes that use steam as the primary leavening method may have a liquid content in excess of one part liquid to one part flour. Instead of water, recipes may use liquids such as milk or other dairy products (including buttermilk or yoghurt), fruit juice, or eggs. These contribute additional sweeteners, fats, or leavening components, as well as water.


Fats or shortenings

Fats, such as butter, vegetable oils, lard, or that contained in eggs, affect the development of gluten in breads by coating and lubricating the individual strands of protein. They also help to hold the structure together. If too much fat is included in a bread dough, the lubrication effect causes the protein structures to divide. A fat content of approximately 3% by weight is the concentration that produces the greatest leavening action. In addition to their effects on leavening, fats also serve to tenderize breads and preserve freshness.


Bread improvers

Bread improvers and dough conditioners are often used in producing commercial breads to reduce the time needed for rising and to improve texture and volume. The substances used may be oxidising agents to strengthen the dough or reducing agents to develop gluten and reduce mixing time, emulsifiers to strengthen the dough or to provide other properties such as making slicing easier, or enzymes to increase gas production.


Salt

Salt (sodium chloride) is very often added to enhance flavor and restrict yeast activity. It also affects the crumb and the overall texture by stabilizing and strengthening the gluten. Some artisan bakers forego early addition of salt to the dough, whether wholemeal or refined, and wait until after a 20-minute rest to allow the dough to autolyse. Mixtures of salts are sometimes employed, such as employing potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level, and monosodium glutamate to give flavor (umami).


Leavening

Leavening is the process of adding gas to a dough before or during baking to produce a lighter, more easily chewed bread. Most bread eaten in the West is leavened.


Chemicals

A simple technique for leavening bread is the use of gas-producing chemicals. There are two common methods. The first is to use baking powder or a self-raising flour that includes baking powder. The second is to include an acidic ingredient such as buttermilk and add baking soda; the reaction of the acid with the soda produces gas. Chemically leavened breads are called ''quick breads'' and ''soda breads''. This method is commonly used to make muffins, pancakes, American-style biscuits, and quick breads such as banana bread.


Yeast

Many breads are leavened by
yeast Yeasts are eukaryotic, single-celled microorganisms classified as members of the fungus kingdom (biology), kingdom. The first yeast originated hundreds of millions of years ago, and at least 1,500 species are currently recognized. They are esti ...

yeast
. The yeast most commonly used for leavening bread is ''Saccharomyces cerevisiae'', the same species used for brewing alcoholic beverages. This yeast Fermentation, ferments some of the carbohydrates in the flour, including any sugar, producing carbon dioxide. Commercial bakers often leaven their dough with commercially produced baker's yeast. Baker's yeast has the advantage of producing uniform, quick, and reliable results, because it is obtained from a pure culture. Many artisan bakers produce their own yeast with a growth culture. If kept in the right conditions, it provides leavening for many years. The baker's yeast and sourdough methods follow the same pattern. Water is mixed with flour, salt and the leavening agent. Other additions (spices, herbs, fats, seeds, fruit, etc.) are not needed to bake bread, but are often used. The mixed dough is then allowed to Proofing (baking technique), rise one or more times (a longer rising time results in more flavor, so bakers often "punch down" the dough and let it rise again), loaves are formed, and (after an optional final rising time) the bread is baked in an
oven upA double oven A ceramic oven An oven is a tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone ...

oven
. Many breads are made from a "straight dough", which means that all of the ingredients are combined in one step, and the dough is baked after the rising time; others are made from a "pre-ferment" in which the leavening agent is combined with some of the flour and water a day or so ahead of baking and allowed to ferment overnight. On the day of baking, the rest of the ingredients are added, and the process continues as with straight dough. This produces a more flavorful bread with better texture. Many bakers see the starter method as a compromise between the reliable results of baker's yeast and the flavor and complexity of a longer fermentation. It also allows the baker to use only a minimal amount of baker's yeast, which was scarce and expensive when it first became available. Most yeasted pre-ferments fall into one of three categories: "poolish" or "pouliche", a loose-textured mixture composed of roughly equal amounts of flour and water (by weight); "biga (bread baking), biga", a stiff mixture with a higher proportion of flour; and "pâte fermentée", which is simply a portion of dough reserved from a previous batch. File:Breaddough1.jpg, Before first rising File:Breaddough2.jpg, After first rising File:Risen bread dough in tin.jpg, After proofing (baking technique), proofing, ready to bake


Sourdough

Sourdough is a type of bread produced by a long fermentation of dough using naturally occurring yeasts and Lactobacillus, lactobacilli. It usually has a mildly sour taste because of the lactic acid produced during Anaerobic respiration, anaerobic fermentation by the lactobacilli. Sourdough breads are made with a sourdough starter. The starter cultivates yeast and lactobacilli in a mixture of flour and water, making use of the microorganisms already present on flour; it does not need any added yeast. A starter may be maintained indefinitely by regular additions of flour and water. Some bakers have starters many generations old, which are said to have a special taste or texture. At one time, all yeast-leavened breads were sourdoughs. Recently there has been a revival of sourdough bread in artisan bakeries. Traditionally, peasant families throughout Europe baked on a fixed schedule, perhaps once a week. The starter was saved from the previous week's dough. The starter was mixed with the new ingredients, the dough was left to rise, and then a piece of it was saved (to be the starter for next week's bread).


Steam

The rapid expansion of steam produced during baking leavens the bread, which is as simple as it is unpredictable. Steam-leavening is unpredictable since the steam is not produced until the bread is baked. Steam leavening happens regardless of the raising agents (baking soda, yeast, baking powder, sour dough, beaten egg white) included in the mix. The leavening agent either contains air bubbles or generates carbon dioxide. The heat vaporises the water from the inner surface of the bubbles within the dough. The steam expands and makes the bread rise. This is the main factor in the rising of bread once it has been put in the oven. Carbon dioxide, CO2 generation, on its own, is too small to account for the rise. Heat kills bacteria or yeast at an early stage, so the CO2 generation is stopped.


Bacteria

Salt-rising bread employs a form of bacterial leavening that does not require yeast. Although the leavening action is inconsistent, and requires close attention to the incubator (culture), incubating conditions, this bread is making a comeback for its cheese-like flavor and fine texture.


Aeration

Aerated bread was leavened by carbon dioxide being forced into dough under pressure. From the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries, bread made this way was somewhat popular in the United Kingdom, made by the Aerated Bread Company and sold in its high-street Aerated Bread Company#Tea shops and early women's issues, tearooms. The company was founded in 1862, and ceased independent operations in 1955.Benjamin Ward Richardson, Richardson MD FRS, Benjanmin Ward.
On the Healthy Manufacture of Bread: A Memoir on the System of Dr. Dauglish
'. Baillière, Tindall, & Cox, 1884. pp. 18, 20–21, 34, 62–63, 67–70, 74.
The Pressure-Vacuum mixer was later developed by the Flour Milling and Baking Research Association for the Chorleywood bread process. It manipulates the gas bubble size and optionally the composition of gases in the dough via the gas applied to the headspace.


Cultural significance

Bread in culture, Bread has a significance beyond mere nutrition in many cultures because of its history and contemporary importance. Bread is also sacramental bread, significant in Christianity as one of the elements (alongside
wine Wine is an alcoholic drink typically made from Fermentation in winemaking, fermented grapes. Yeast in winemaking, Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol and carbon dioxide, releasing heat in the process. Different v ...

wine
) of the Eucharist, and in other religions including Paganism. In many Culture, cultures, bread is a metaphor for basic necessities and living conditions in general. For example, a "bread-winner" is a household's main economic contributor and has little to do with actual bread-provision. This is also seen in the phrase "putting bread on the table". The Roman poet Juvenal satirized superficial politicians and the public as caring only for "''panem et circenses''" (bread and circuses). In Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Russia in 1917, the Bolsheviks promised "peace, land, and bread." The term "breadbasket" denotes an agriculturally productive region. In parts of Northern Europe, Northern, Central Europe, Central, Southern Europe, Southern and Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe bread and salt is offered as a welcome to guests. In India, life's basic necessities are often referred to as "roti, kapra aur makan" (bread, cloth, and house). Words for bread, including "dough" and "bread" itself, are used in English language, English-speaking countries as synonyms for money. A remarkable or revolutionary innovation may be called the best thing since "sliced bread". The expression "to break bread with someone" means "to share a meal with someone". The English word "lord" comes from the Anglo-Saxon ''hlāfweard'', meaning "bread keeper." Bread is sometimes referred to as "the staff of life", although this term can refer to other staple foods in different cultures: the ''Oxford English Dictionary'' defines it as "bread (or similar staple food)". OED cites 1638 "Bread is worth all, being the Staffe of life" but also 1901 "Broad beans form one of the staves of life in Sicily". This is sometimes thought to be a biblical reference, but the nearest wording is in Leviticus 26 "when I have broken the staff of your bread". The term has been adopted in the names of bakery firms. ''An example''


See also

* * * * * * * * s * * * * * * * *


References


Further reading

* Kaplan, Steven Laurence: ''Good Bread is Back: A Contemporary History of French Bread, the Way It Is Made, and the People Who Make It''. Durham/ London: Duke University Press, 2006. * Jacob, Heinrich Eduard: ''Six Thousand Years of Bread. Its Holy and Unholy History''. Garden City / New York: Doubleday, Doran and Comp., 1944. New 1997: New York: Lyons & Burford, Publishers (Foreword by Lynn Alley), < * Spiekermann, Uwe: ''Brown Bread for Victory: German and British Wholemeal Politics in the Inter-War Period'', in: Trentmann, Frank and Just, Flemming (ed.): ''Food and Conflict in Europe in the Age of the Two World Wars''. Basingstoke / New York: Palgrave, 2006, pp. 143–71, * * * * *


External links

* * {{Authority control Breads, Staple foods World cuisine Ancient dishes Wheat dishes Types of food